The Norman Conquest (HIH1543)

StaffDr Jennifer Farrell - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.50
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

1066 is one of the most well known dates in English history. Students taking this course will investigate what lies behind its status in popular consciousness using a variety of sources from the 10th ' 12th centuries including chronicles and other narrative texts, legal statements, charters, and the Domesday Book. Students will evaluate the different types of evidence that historians use to study the impact of the Norman Conquest and reach conclusions about the extent of that impact in terms of social, cultural and political development in Anglo-Norman England.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Assess and understand the impact and repercussions of the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.
  • 2. Analyse and interpret a range of sources for the history of the Norman Conquest and its social, political and cultural consequences.
  • 3. Critique medieval texts and documents and to engage with modern assessments of them.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Identify the problems of using historical sources, e.g. bias, reliability, etc., and to compare the validity of different types of source.
  • 5. Answer a question briefly and concisely.
  • 6. Present work orally, respond to questions orally, and think quickly of questions to ask other students.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Independent study and group work, including the presentation of material for group discussion, developed through the mode of learning.
  • 8. Digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment.
  • 9. Work with others in a team and interact effectively with the tutor and the wider group.
  • 10. Write to a very tight word-length.

Syllabus plan

1. Introduction (week one)

2. Assessment of the nature of English and Norman society before the Conquest and the claims brought forward by Harold and William (weeks two-four).

3. Perspectives of the Conquest (weeks five-six)

4. Examining the emerging social and political structures of Anglo-Norman England (weeks seven-eleven).

The aim of this module is to get students to work with primary sources: The first class will take the form of a mini-lecture explaining the basic outlines of the subject, providing a framework into which they can then fit the sources they will be studying, as well as explaining the format that the remaining classes will take. In subsequent weeks, the class will have been told, in advance, to prepare an answer in 400-500 words to a question relating to the set texts. Students will be divided into groups. In the class, one member of one group will present their answer to the question; the remaining members of the group will add in anything they think has been missed or which needs amplification.  The rest of the students will then subdivide into their own groups to determine a question to ask the presenting group. These questions will then be asked and answered, with discussion being allowed to develop on key points. In the light of the discussion and the tutor's comments, the students will then self-assess their own work according to a pro-forma, which will then be collected by the tutor for moderation. Finally, the class will end with the tutor outlining the work to be done for the following week's class.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities22 hour lecture: Introduction to module
Scheduled learning and teaching activities2010 x 2 Seminars. At a meeting of the whole class generally a different group of 3-4 students will give a presentation to the whole class, followed by class discussion and working through the sources for that week carefully. Additional sources may be issued in the class and the lecturer will also use the time to set up issues for the following week.
Guided independent study128Students prepare for the session through reading and research; writing five source commentaries and an essay and preparing one group presentation in the course of the term.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group presentation (3-4 students)10-15 minutes1-4, 6-7, 9Oral
Lowest mark from portfolio of 5 source commentaries500 words1-5, 7-8, 10Marks and written comments

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
4 highest marks from portfolio of 5 source commentaries60 (15% per commentary)2000 words (500 per commentary)1-5, 7-8, 10Mark and written comments
Essay on Sources401500 words1-5, 7-8, 10Mark and written comments

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
4 highest marks from portfolio of 5 source commentaries4 highest marks from portfolio of 5 source commentaries1-5, 7-8, 10Referral/deferral period
1500 word essay1500 word essay1-5, 7-8, 10Referral/deferral period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Bates, D., Normandy before 1066 (London, 1982). Brown, R. Allen, The Normans and the Norman Conquest (Woodbridge, 1969). Crouch, D., The Normans: The History of a Dynasty (New York, 2002). Davis, R.H.C., The Normans and their Myth (London,1976). Houts, E. M, C. van., The Normans in Europe (Manchester, 2000). Houts, E. M, C. van., A Companion to the Anglo-Norman World (Woodbridge, 2003).

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